Torah Buzz Blog

The TBE Blog is the space where Temple Beth El’s Leadership Team members reflect on relevant topics that are most meaningful to us. Here you will find musings on everything from prayer to politics, music to mysticism and history to current day life. From our iPads, smartphones, and laptops to yours, these are the things that inspire us, keep us up at night, and fuel our own Jewish journeys.


Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! by Dr. Laura Bernstein, Executive Director

Have you had the privilege of reading about Humphrey the Hamster? Brought to life by author Betty Birney, Humphrey lives i...


Immigration Rally Speech 6/30/18 by Rabbi Asher Knight

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” Inscribed over the entrance of the St...


President’s Remarks by Evan Wilkoff

Annual Congregational Meeting Speech – 2018 Izzy Cohen was the president of his synagogue and wasn’t feeling well. He ...

Vigil and Call to Action- This Saturday

Jun 27

Members of Temple Beth El have diverse perspectives on immigration. We value laws, rules, borders and security. Judaism also teaches us that every human being is created b’tzelem Elohim – in the image of God. The Torah commands us to protect and care for refugees and strangers because of our experience of slavery in Egypt. […]

Transformation at Temple Beth El by Andy Harkavy, Director of Congregational Engagement

Jun 21

This past week, my wife and I bought new patio furniture off of NextDoor. We immediately thought about how nice it will be to enjoy sitting outside over the summer having dinner with the amazing friends we have made since we moved here. We have created new relationships and deepened relationships with people whom we […]

Special Message from Rabbi Knight

Jun 19

Members of our community have reached out in recent days in shock and horror that the administration is separating undocumented children from their parents. Rabbi Knight spoke about this issue last Shabbat. A portion of his sermon was published by the Washington Post. He also wrote an editorial to the Charlotte Observer. Tomorrow, leaders of […]

How I Spend my Summer Vacation by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

Jun 14

School is over for the year and as I reflect on the past year, I can say that Religious School had a great year. The Camp Thunderbird retreats were highlights and the Tuesday Hebrew option helped many families solve their scheduling issues. We took field trips, celebrated holidays and lifecycle events, experienced the Butterfly Project, […]

This, Too, is Torah by Rabbi Dusty Klass (from Charlotte Jewish News Editorial June-July 2018)

Jun 06

At the annual Shalom Park Freedom School fundraiser this year, the program began with a short video outlining just how far behind a kid in a low-income setting can end up by 3rd grade when not given the same opportunities afforded middle-and-upper class kids. But wait – isn’t summer for running through sprinklers and eating […]

1998 was 20 Years Ago by Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas

May 29

I had quite a few conversations last week about time. There was a conversation with my mom about whether or not she or I qualified as “old,” a conversation with a congregant about whether or not 5 years is a lot of time, and two conversations very similar in character, in which we discovered that […]

At Mount Sinai by Candace Naliboff, Director of Member Services

May 16

I am a Jew by choice, and also a Jew by birth. My ancestry and family history is very interesting and the road is quite curvy. When I tell my story, I like to say two things – I was definitely one of those souls at Mount Sinai and like the Jews, I wandered in […]